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Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting

Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting
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Senate Democrats are demanding President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE detail what he discussed during a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the answers are needed to "adequately protect America’s interests."
 
Six Democrats sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday saying Americans "have a right to know" what the two leaders discussed during their closed-door meeting on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
 
"Just today the Russian Ministry of Defense publicly stated that it is prepared to start implementing an agreement you apparently struck in Helsinki with President Putin, an agreement that neither Congress nor the American people have been informed about," the lawmakers wrote.
 
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They added that lawmakers "cannot afford to be blindsided or outmaneuvered."
 
The letter was signed by Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Trump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight GOP senators: Mnuchin should not go to Saudi Arabia MORE (Ill.) as well as Democratic Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE (N.J.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism Is there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel MORE (Va.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Trump asks Turkey for evidence on missing journalist | Key Dem calls for international probe | Five things to know about 'MBS' | Air Force struggles to determine cost of hurricane damage to F-22 jets Trump administration doesn't have ambassadors in Saudi Arabia or Turkey Top Armed Services Dem calls for international probe into missing Saudi journalist MORE (R.I.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence MORE (Ohio), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services and Banking Committees, respectively.
 
Democrats want Trump to detail all topics discussing during the meeting, including any "suggestions" Trump made to Putin.

They also want to know about any talk on changing international security agreements, if Trump made any commitments tied to the United States' presence in Syria or military exercises for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"Mr. President, the answers to these questions are of critical importance to U.S. national security. Answering them in full, without hesitation, will demonstrate that you do still hold America’s interests first," the Democratic senators wrote. 

They added that Trump's "cursory description" of the meeting did not assuage their concerns and "we as a nation must now wonder exactly what you discussed and may have promised to President Putin."

Democrats also want to know if Trump pressed Putin on Russia's annexation of Crimea or for the extradition of the 12 Russian nationals indicted last week for meddling in the 2016 election.

The letter comes after Trump shocked Washington on Monday when he refused to condemn Russia's election meddling during a joint press conference with Putin. Trump tried to walk back his comments on Tuesday amid a political firestorm, saying he accepts the intelligence community's finding that Russia interfered in the election.

But muddling his message, Trump added that it "could be other people also."

The Senate is debating passing new sanctions legislation targeting Russia in the wake of the Helsinki summit and last week's indictment. 

Democrats added on Tuesday that in addition to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump asks Turkey for evidence on missing journalist | Key Dem calls for international probe | Five things to know about 'MBS' | Air Force struggles to determine cost of hurricane damage to F-22 jets GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Washington Post to publish special Opinion page with new Khashoggi column MORE, who is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee next week, they also want U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, a high-ranking intelligence official and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to testify.